MEASURES MAKE SENSE FOR EASTERN, OHSU

May 01, 2002 12:00 am

Flexibility and profitability would be within Eastern Oregon University's grasp should Ballot Measure 10 be approved.

THE MEASURE, referred by the Oregon Legislature to the voters for the May 21 primary, would allow Oregon's public universities to hold and dispose of stock they receive in exchange for the technology they create. The measure could greatly benefit Eastern, and we urge voters to support it.

Another proposal, Ballot Measure 11, would direct more dollars to Oregon Health & Science University for biomedical research. We encourage voters to support that proposal as well.

MEASURE 10

Currently Oregon's Constitution prohibits the state from subscribing to or being connected to the stock of any company, association or corporation. Measure 10 would allow the universities to hold stock in companies that use the school's research discoveries commercially.

The change would permit Eastern and the other universities to establish relationships with companies interested in investing in research and development projects at the schools. This would allow the universities to profit from products or discoveries that are developed by faculty members.

THE LIKELIHOOD of technological innovations being developed at Eastern will increase when the university's new $33.5 million science center is completed in two years. The center, operated by OHSU, will include a 7,500-square-foot biotech research lab. Measure 10 has the potential to bring in non-tax revenue to assist Eastern in its ongoing efforts.

MEASURE 11

OHSU, long a partner with Eastern in providing nursing education on the La Grande campus, would benefit directly from the passage of Measure 11. A "yes" vote would allow the state to issue general obligation bonds to finance OHSU medical research capital costs. Currently, more-expensive revenue bonds can be sold for OHSU. The less-expensive general obligation bonds would create up to $35 million more in net proceeds for medical research and biotech opportunities.

Measures 10 and 11 would work to improve biotech research opportunities at OHSU and Oregon's public universities and help institutions like Eastern benefit financially when faculty members make a discovery that has commercial potential. Voters should approve both measures.

AMY'S RETURN

Amy Daggett, the 20-year-old woman who was critically injured in a pickup truck-log truck accident on Highway 82 near Island City Dec. 11, has defied the odds by recovering sufficiently to return from Boise to her parents' home in Elgin.

Daggett's homecoming is a tribute to her personal courage, the prayers of many, the love of family and friends and the skills of doctors and other health professionals who have helped her in her recovery. It shows how a team can come together to work wonders.

Welcome home, Amy.